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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Making of Portuguese Egg Tarts

Aloha! Recently, I am being very enthusiastic with cooking/baking. =) I did Dorayaki yesterday and it seems to receive a self-satisfying amount of positive feedback from everyone. Thus, I decided to try tarts today. Unfortunately, the process of making it was not conducive at all because I am suffering p.m.s. =( It totally ruined my mood. Humph..!

Portuguese tarts sold at outside have black/dark brown surfaces too. Thus, nothing is wrong with my tarts-- *eager to see how mine looks like...?* *wink* 

Portuguese Egg Tarts 

.... Original recipe taken from The Pleasure Monger website. 
I have modified some stuff due to the fact that some ingredients are not available in my kitchen and refrigerator. 

Servings: You can make roughly 9-11 tarts from this recipe.  

Time Needed: 2 - 3 hours. 

. . . . P A S T RY 
150 g wheat flour 
1/2 teaspoon of salt
90 g butter (supposedly, The Pleasure Monger recipe advises to use 150 g butter) 
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
7 tablespoons of iced water 

. . . . E G G . . F I L I N G 
20 ml hot water
160 ml room temperature water  
3 tablespoons of milk powder 
1/2 teaspoon of salt 
2 - 3 strips of lemon peel 
40 g powdered sugar 
2 whole eggs 
2 egg yolks 

Cooking pot 
Spoon and fork 
Dough roller 
Flat surface table 
Flour sieve tool 
Cake knife / bread spreader tool
Measuring scale 
Egg tart molds / cupcake molds tray  

............ P A S T R Y 

    1. Mix flour, salt, lemon juice and the iced water together. Knead them into a dough. 
    2. Make a cross cuts at the center of the dough (see image for better understanding) and place the dough into the freezer for roughly 20-30 minutes to chill. 
    3. Meanwhile, prepare some flour for dusting purpose. You will need about half a bowl when you are making puff pastry. You can use the time to prepare the egg filing ingredients while waiting for the dough to chill.  
    4. Get the dough out from the freezer (don't worry, 30 minutes will not turn your dough into ice).
    5. Flatten the dough into a long rectangle shape. 
    6. Apply some butter on its surface and do 1/3 folding. You'll understand better if you see the images below. Do this step for roughly 2-3 times. 
    7. When your dough is ready, set it a side. You can put it back to the freezer to chill while you are preparing the egg filing. 
    ............ E G G . . F I L I N G 
    1. Get your pot on the stove. Use low fire. Do not use high fire or else you will turn your egg mixture into scramble egg. 
    2. Mix milk powder and hot water in a bowl. When the milk powder has dissolved, add in the room temperature water and mix well. 
    3. Pour in milk, salt, powdered sugar and lemon peel into the pot. Heat it for roughly 3 minutes. 
    4. Beat the eggs mixture in a bowl prior pouring it into the milk mixture in the pot. 
    5. Heat the mixture for roughly another 3-5 minutes. 
    6. Stir while you are cooking it to make sure your egg mixture always stays in liquid form.  
    7. Sieve the mixture into a bowl.
    ............ M O L D . . . T H E . . . T A R T S 
    1. Preheat your oven at 210 degrees Celsius 15 minutes before you get everything ready. 
    2. Do the process of making rectangle dough, spread butter and 1/3 steps for about 3 times. Then, make the dough into long rectangle shape again. Roll the dough like swiss roll. 
    3. Cut the dough into small pieces. See images for better understanding. 
    4. Place each small dough into the tart mold and start to mold the pastry. 
    5. Pour in egg filing mixture into the pasty mold.
    6. Bake the tarts at 210 degrees Celsius for about 22 minutes. 
    7. Constantly check your tarts to avoid over-burning.
    8. Serve hot. 
    • I am trying to make puff pastry. This is a jargon in baking field. It means pastry with layers, not like the ordinary egg tart pastry. Sometimes, you will notice some curry puffs have circled texture pastry - yeah, that's what I am talking about. Supposedly, I think you can try to make Portuguese egg tarts without making puff pastry. You can still do it using the normal pastry - it'll be much easier and less work. Of course, puff pastry looks very much more beautiful compared to ordinary pastry. 
    • If you want the pastry to look really crispy, I suggest you follow The Pleasure Monger's recipe by using more butter. As you can see, I am using very much lesser than the suggested amount of butter. It could be one of the reasons why my tarts do not look as crispy as the others but trust me, it IS crispy when I eat it. ;) I am just not a fan of too-oily stuff. 
    • If you want to have less messy work, I advise you do like what The Pleasure Monger says - use cold butter instead of melted butter like mine (I used room temperature butter which is easy to spread on the dough but will cause a mess if you don't do it carefully)
    • Remember not to be stingy in using the flour for dusting purpose. If not, you will have problem flattening the dough while you are in the process of making puff pastry. 
    • Be patient when you are making this tart.. especially if you are planning to use DIY puff pastry. =) 
    Images Taken During The Process of Making Portuguese Egg Tarts: 
    Mix flour, salt, lemon juice and the iced water together.
    See? Ice water. = )

    Dough with center cut into a 'cross' shape. 
    Purpose is to allow the dough to expand I guess.
    This is what I saw when I am making research on puff pastry on the Internet. 

    The egg-filing ingredients. 
    I don't have whipped cream or milk at home. 
    Thus, I used milk powder + water. 
    It doesn't really affect much I guess. 
    Perhaps by using whip cream, it will make the egg filing looks more creamy?
    I don't know-- 

    So here is the difficult part of all in the making of Portuguese egg tarts. 
    The puff pastry. 
    Some people will take another alternative - 
    buy ready made puff pastry in the store.

    The dough is flatten in a long rectangle shape using dough roller. 

    Then, spread butter on it. 
    As you can see, my butter is kind of in the melting state -- 
    It's kind of half solid-half liquid form. 
    It's easy to spread - just like.. jam. 
    Supposedly, you should use solid butter which will make your pastry looks much neater. 

    Fold it into something like that. 
    Actually, the concept of puff pastry is making different layers using dough and butter.
    Perhaps, this will allow you to have better understanding of how puff pastry is made. 
    Basically, the idea is to create different layers. 
    It doesn't make sense if you keep on folding with only dough layers. 
    Dough + dough = dough. 
    But dough + butter = 2 different layers.
    Make sense? 


    Continue the steps:
    Flatten the dough into rectangle shape. 
    Spread butter. 
    Knead into 1/3 shapes. 
    Set it a side to rest. 
    Like my case, my butter is melted, I have to let it chill a while before I can repeat the process.
    Or else, the butter will ooze out. 
    You probably will not have this problem if you are using solid butter.

    Use low fire. 

    Heat the milk, sugar and lemon peel first. 

    Then add in the egg mixture. 

    This is how your egg filing mixture will look like. 

    Remember to sieve the egg filing mixture before you put them into the pastry mold. 
    Usually, there will be some precipitates in the mixture. 
    Sieved mixture will give it a smoother texture when you eat it.

    This is the puff pastry in swiss roll look.

    I hope that you can see better like this. 
    It's rolled up like swiss roll.

    Cut the "swiss roll" into small parts like this. 
    They should be roughly about the same size. 

    Side ways.
    As you can see, we have formed "invisible" layers using the puff pastry method.

    I hope you can see the layers.

    So here, the pastry is put into each tart mold. 
    I didn't manage to snap the photo of how I put this but I think it's not too difficult to figure out how to-do-it.
    My hands were too oily and I don't wanna dirty my camera.

    The layers.

    Pour in the egg mixture that you have prepared earlier into the pastry mold.

    Bake it under 210 degrees Celsius for about 22 minutes. 


    A website teaches how to check whether the tart is cooked - 
    by using a toothpick.
    If the toothpick can stand straight still, it means the tart is well-cooked. 

    Initially, I use a fork to "dig" the tarts out. 
    I am working too slow-
    The tarts turn chill pretty fast but the metal tray is hot. 
    It's difficult for me to hold the tray while getting the tarts out. 
    Thus, I ended up using knife so that I can "dig" them out easier. 

    Portuguese egg tarts. =)

    Making tarts is not something new to me as I have tried making fruit tarts and ordinary egg tarts before.
    The fruit tarts were a success but the egg tarts weren't really that good because the recipe stated too much sugar. 
    It makes my tarts really very sweet. 
    I really don't like too-sweet stuff. 

    These are 3 that were most beautifully done. lol.

    As you can see, my egg filing looks just as great as those sold outside. 
    =) My pastry is very crispy too! ;) 


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